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I experienced pregnancy while also being transgender. How did I get here?
To the outside world, I was a pregnant “man.” When I was younger, before my gender realization, I never wanted to be a “mom.” The idea of carrying a child used to freak me out so much, I swore up and down that it would never happen to me. The word “mom” used to gross me out—it was a journey I never saw for myself.
As I matured and realized that I was not, in fact, even a woman, my relationship with my body and the gendered expectations put upon it began to change. So did my ideas about what I could do when it came to family.
Eventually, my social and medical transition led me away from thinking of myself as a failed woman, and toward the idea that I might be something else. Early in my transition, I used the term “trans man” or “man” to describe myself, though that changed once I began to pass fully as male and experienced life behind the “man curtain.” It didn’t take me long to realize that world was also not for me.
Gradually, I came to terms with the fact that, although I feel comfortable looking more masculine than feminine, I’m a non-binary person whose gender firmly lies in the category of “other.” This realization gave me the freedom to cast off many gendered expectations I’d previously had for my life. At each step, with every decision, I no longer had to worry “is this what a man/woman is supposed to do?” and instead just asked myself “is this something that feels comfortable for me?”
A “choose-your-own-adventure” novel of the best kind! Because I have fully embraced the fact that I do not fit into a binary gender box, I have grown to love this non-binary vessel that I walk around in. I have stopped thinking of my physical attributes, like my beard or my ovaries, as “male parts” and “female parts,” and instead think of them as “my parts.” This freedom of thinking also allowed me to de-gender the things my body can do, like carry a child.
Instead of thinking of pregnancy as “motherhood,” a notion that used to make me cringe, I now think of it as “otherhood,” and embrace it with joy. Once I met and fell in love with my husband, I also recognized that as a transmasculine person who is married to a cisgender man, the ability to carry his child is a privilege that not many queer men get to enjoy. I now feel lucky to be able to go on this journey, and to help educate others along the way.
I now feel lucky to be able to go on this journey, and to help educate others along the way.
Trying to get pregnant while trans is tricky, and it’s definitely not a journey for the faint of heart.
First, I had to go off of my hormone replacement therapy (HRT) so that my menstrual cycle would return. For me, this took about 2 months. I ultimately waited about 8 months after stopping HRT before trying to conceive (TTC), because I wanted to be sure that my cycle was regular and everything was in working order. Luckily for my husband and me, it only took 2 attempts at ovulation tracking before I got pregnant!
We had prepared for the process to be much harder than it was, so we were shocked at how fast it happened. However, the timing ended up being perfect for me: 2 weeks after I found out I was pregnant, the world went into lockdown and I got to spend the majority of my pregnancy at home, wearing a kaftan, and basking in the joy of knowing I was on a journey that many only dream of.